- A handy magazine to obtain listing a large selection of shipping companies
is the Lloyd's Loading List. Available from www.lloydslist.com.
- We found that the most productive source of shipping information was The
Malaysian Times newspaper, which lists operators, agents and sailing times.
In fact, this is what we used for all of our enquiries. Any regional newspaper
with a shipping list would be extremely useful.
- The RAC recommended the following company to us for shipping from Sinagapore
- V B Perkins & Co Pty Ltd, The Slipway, Frances Bay, Darwin, NT 5790
- Tel: 08981 4688 - Postal address: Box 1019, Darwin, NT 5794, Australia
- However, we ended up using MacNel's Shipping Agents, situated in Singapore
and found through the aforementioned Times newspaper. They proved to be extremely
friendly and helpful; they found out all of the requirements for driving our
car in and shipping it out, helped by taking us to the AA offices for documentation
and walked us through each step of the process. Once our container arrived
in Fremantle we used Bullocks Shipping Agent who, unfortunately, rather bungled
the formalities resulting in an extremely complicated reunion with our vehicle.
- Shipping costs are incurred twice, once at each port. You can expect to
pay container rental, loading and lashing, container storage, container transfer,
wharfage charges, shipping charges, fumigation/quarantine/cleaning costs,
and a host of other things.
- It is possible to arrange the formalities yourself if you know what you
are doing, but it is considerably easier to use an agent, not least because
all Port Authorities have differing regulations.
- In order to drive our vehicle into the Singapore Free Trade Zone to the
container wharehouse, we had to remove our number plates. Precisely why is
not clear, but the alternative is to pay to get towed in.
- We managed to get Singapore customs to stamp the Carnet when the container
was sealed - original information suggested that we could only get it stamped
by going to Customs House with the Bill of Lading, which is only issued once
the ship has sailed.
- We had the container fumigated in Singapore when it was packed. Fumigation
is used to kill bugs - mainly bugs found in wood - so if you are carrying
no wood it may be completely pointless. However, our rooftent has a wooden
base, and it would be an expensive shame to see Australian quarantine authorities
- On arrival in Fremantle we had to get our agent to arrange a time to unpack
the container with Customs and AQIS (Asutralian Quarantine Inspection Service)
officers there to inspect; it takes a day or so to make the appointment.
- Make sure that you complete an Unaccompanied Bagage Statement with your
agent in advance of meeting customs in Australia.
- Be aware that customs very nearly charged us duty on the spare parts we
were carrying simply because they are new goods that we've imported, regardless
that they totalled only about £80 (actually we only avoided it because
they were worth so little). However, the customs officer didn't look in the
vehicle at all, and only knew we were carrying the spares because he was reading
an inventory list we had made. Make of that what you will!
- Once the customs clearence is issued, AQIS, the Australian Quarantine Inspection
Service, gets to poke about. They are mainly interested in wood (which might
contain nasty lifeforms), food produce (which could introduce scary problems
like BSE), and mud (which contains all sorts of environmentally threatening
things like seeds, viruses, etc.). So, advice is to have the vehicle fumigated
if wood is a problem, don't carry any foodstuffs containing seeds, dairy products
or meat products, and ensure there is no mud whatsoever on or, especially,
under the vehicle. If AQIS are not happy with any of this, they will destroy
suspect items and wash the car at your expense.